Your film One Hour
to Die - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell
us about your character in it?
It centers around a group of people celebrating someone's birthday,
when all hell lets loose after a note is found inside a birthday card,
claiming they have 1 hour to die. My character is Jessie, she's the
wayward sister of Shirl, creating all the tense moments and situations
amongst the group. Shes flirtatious, a rebel and doesn't like to please
to Die was pretty much improvised upon a pre-set concept
in one single take - how much of a challenge was that? And was this
concept something that drew you to the film or rather made you
second-guess your decision?
It was a huge challenge! I had
never worked on a film before, only stage, so this was really different
for me anyway, and to throw that in the mix was really challenging. I was
drawn to the film as it's horror, which was my main area of interest at
How much freedom were you
given in creating your own character? And honestly, how much of you is in
the slightly immature and borderline slutty Jess you play in the movie?
was given a lot of freedom - I didn't really know what my character was
until I arrived to set, I was given a general outline of Jessie and what
the director wanted my character to achieve. Hardly any of me is in
Jessie, I really struggled at first, you can ask other members of cast! I
even recall a conversation with a co-star (Rob Ireland [Rob
Ireland interview - click here]) with me explaining I'm not
really a party girl, nor do I find myself easily being loose with men and
loving much male attention. So I had to draw up on all my experience of
other people and characters I have seen to give me the tools I needed to
pull her off. She isn't someone who could just cut in with a small line
now and again and fade steadily into the background, she was at the
forefront continually. I'm glad you got her immaturity out of it, I guess
it shows I pulled it off!
can you tell us about your co-stars and the on-set atmosphere? And how
much of a strain did it put on all of you to actually get the thing done
in one single take?
My co-stars were all really great and I
feel I got on with them well! Some I've kept in touch with more than
others, and I chat to every now and again. I've also worked with a Rob
Ireland on other movies since One Hour
The atmosphere on set was tense at times, we had a lot
to do and to get it done right. I think before we shot the real and final
take we were all really nervous, energised and tense - but I think that
propelled us on to create what we did, so all in all, it was great!
A few words about your director
Philip Gardiner [Philip Gardiner
interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?
a great guy for giving me a massive chance to start off my career in
films, he didn't really know what I would be like and he gave me an
opportunity to show him, which not many people do in this line of work. We
got on really well, which led to us working together on a couple more of
also in Philip Gardiner's upcoming Awesome Killer Audition - what
can you tell us about that one?
Ooo, not sure how much I
can say, but it's based around the idea of a talent competition gone
wrong. There's loads of different characters in this film, and I think
there's some really comedic moments, quite enjoyable!
Let's go back to your
very beginnings: You originally trained to be a dancer, right? Would you
like to talk about that aspect of your career for a bit?
that's right, it's all I ever really did from a young age and it was all I
ever really wanted to do till I reached late teens. I did a lot of shows
around the country, but I got to a point where I felt I couldnIt get any
better - some people just continually improve and learn and grow, Ii felt
like I needed to do something more.
also done quite a bit of modeling, right? Care to elaborate?
bits and bobs, nothing worth shouting about!
made you go into acting eventually, and did you receive any formal
education on the subject?
Well, I've always enjoyed it, I've
done shows since I can ever remember, I was always a member of the drama
groups and stuff like that. I took a GNVQ in performing arts and did a lot
of work in musical theatre/physical theatre at college.
Can you still remember your
first time in front of a movie or TV camera, and what was that experience
Erm, yes I think it was a while ago, I did some stuff
for a TV channel which was quite cool! It just confirmed how much I
enjoyed it more than anything really.
Dancing, modeling and acting - how do the three
compare, what do you find the most inspiring?
acting by absolute far. Modelling isn't even on the same scale, dance is
like a breath of fresh air, you can feel every beat in the music to the
pulse of your heart and it's the most incredible feeling when you walk off
stage. Acting gives me another feeling similar, but it's a lot of hard
hard work mentally preparing for a role. It's long hours, lots of prep
time and a lot of shoot time. The best part is coming to the end and being
proud of what you've done when you hold the final product in your hand. Nothing
compares to that!
yours you want to talk about, future projects you'd like to share?
finished filming a movie called Wasteland, its set post apocalypse
- about 5 years after a zombie breakout. There's almost two stories within
one feature, running simultaneously. It's not really about why it came to
be or even about zombies, it's really based around one character and then
me (Beth), his love interest. How they cope in this kind of world and how
humans would deal with this kind of situation. Its quite a sad story, a
different take on the zombie feature.
read somewhere that you've founded a campaign to support independent
horror film makers across the world - is that at all true, and what can
you tell us about your love for horror to begin with?
that's true! There's a lot of work to be done with the campaign, so it's a
working project but it's exciting!
would you describe yourself as an actress, and how do you usually approach
I guess I would say I'm really focused,
hard working and willing to learn a lot from my fellow co-stars/other cast
and crew. I'm the kind of person that finds more and more about myself the
more I challenge myself, the more situations I put myself in, the more I
learn and grow as an artist. I usually approach the situation with a lot
of questions, I like to know what my character likes/dislikes, what kind
of personality they have, where they are from and their background, why
they react to situations the way that they do etc etc. It's all important
to help build an idea of the type of person you are to become. I
absolutely loved playing Beth in Wasteland. She was wonderful!
Actresses (or indeed actors) who
Kristen Stewart - I really wasn't a fan to
begin with, but y'know, that the girl has worked hard, she's stuck to her
guns and she is who she is. I really admire that!
Camille Keaton - I just loved her in I
Spit on your Grave. It's the kind of role I would love to do, she
does it extremely well and I like how brave she was to do that.
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I hate this question! I have far far too many to name. I love movies, I
love everything about movies, the experience of movies, the way they can
make you first laugh, then cry and feel so much emotion. I took a film
degree because I love film.
and of course, films you really deplore?
Ahh, equally as
many I probably don't like too much. I can't really think of anything off
the top of my head, but they would be the kind of films that don't really
stick with me. For whatever reason.
Facebook, whatever else?
New website, just gone live this
week : jessicamessenger.co.uk
- and follow me on Twitter: @missjmessenger
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
independent filmmakers across the world, by buying their movies, following
their projects and if you have the money, by donating to their
productions! There is so much unknown talent, it's time we got it known.